Help me decide - Audi, Merc or Saab - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 104 Old 01-09-2009, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Help me decide - Audi, Merc or Saab

I need to find a new daily driver but can't decide what to buy. Help me out.

As I have been driving convertibles for 20 years, an open top is essential, I do not want to be couped up in a salesmans coffin. Min spec is 4 seats, euro NCAP safety rating of at least 4, leather seats (ideally heated as it get's cold here), German/Swedish build quality and reliability. Must return at least 30 MPG, but can be diesel or petrol. Max 3 yrs old, 15K GBP.

I've narrowed my search down to the following.

Audi A4 1.8T or 2.5 TDi - love them and owned 3 already, but bored with them and too common now. According to Top Gear, Audi drivers are Cocks.
Merc CLK 200K - A bit footballers wives and looks a bit puny with 17 inch wheels.
BMW 3 series - Outdated now and every wannabee gangsta owns one
Saab 9-3 - Ugly from the rear, but well spec'd, good choice of engines and cheaper than Germans. Good mid range power
Volvo C70 - NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I've ruled out Jag XK8's and 911's as they are too thirsty for a daily driver and a bit out of my price currently

Archie
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post #2 of 104 Old 01-09-2009, 04:29 PM
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I biased but I adore my Audi. I'm just hitting 150K miles after 2.5 years and the thing is as strong as new. Go a little newer with a 2.0L and consider an A3. At least its differant. FYI the 2.0 packs a much better punch than the 3.2 S series but S brakes are (supposedly) a little better.

Lane

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post #3 of 104 Old 01-09-2009, 06:36 PM
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Sounds to me like somebody needs a convertible Volkswagon Beetle. Same horsepower as a 308 with twice the fuel mileage and room for the kiddy seats in the back. Plus the wife will love it because it's "Cute".

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post #4 of 104 Old 01-09-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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I would go Bimmer 3 series or the A4. Good luck I personally would go Subaru Impreza WRX STI or Cobalt SS/TC That one gets more than 30, but you don't get them there.

Chris

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post #5 of 104 Old 01-09-2009, 07:26 PM
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Yeah, Archie can you get the Subaru WRX?!? That would be awesome. I know it is not a convertible but since you tend to keep cars for less than a year it shouldn't be a problem.

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post #6 of 104 Old 01-09-2009, 07:30 PM
 
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Yeah, Archie can you get the Subaru WRX?!? That would be awesome. I know it is not a convertible but since you tend to keep cars for less than a year it shouldn't be a problem.
Neither of the cars that I mentioned were convertible.. Stupid me. I would definitely go for the STI though

Chris

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post #7 of 104 Old 01-09-2009, 10:28 PM
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Have you considered either a Boxster or a slightly older 911 (996) ? Both have been beaten well down on price recently. For around GBP 30k you can pick up either an DB7 or a Bentley GT.
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post #8 of 104 Old 01-10-2009, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your comments guys.

We do have Imprezza WRX and STi's over here, but they aren't really my kind of thing, too ricerish for me. If I wanted a rally car, I'd get an old Audi Quattro from the 80's, or a Lancia Delta Integrale. Anyway, I want a convertible.

I have considered and would really like a Boxster, but 2 seats are no good as occasionally I will have to use the back seats for my little people.

I don't want to spend 30K GBP on a daily car yet. For that money I am almost back in 328 territory, and if I have that much cash to play with today, I would definitely have another 328 and buy another cheap runabout as a daily driver. 15K really is my limit, as I still intend to buy another Ferrari this year or next and don't want to wipe out my Ferrari fund.

Audi's are my favourite daily brand, and I really am leaning towards another A4, but as I've already had 3 A4 convertibles, I would just like to try something else (although I may regret it and sell it after a couple of months).
I agree the 2.0T packs more punch than the 1.8T (about 30 BHP more), but I don't think I'll get a 2.0T spec'd the way I want and with low miles for 15K. I may well go for a 2005 2.5TDi Auto S-Line that I have seen. It's got enough BHP for a daily driver and delivers 40 MPG, but I've also seen a 2006 diesel Saab with the same spec and it's 4K cheaper.

I need to decide this weekend as my wife is getting fed up with me using her car everyday.

Archie
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post #9 of 104 Old 01-10-2009, 07:01 AM
 
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I recommend the new Abarth 500. Jeremy Clarkson was very positive about it and it really is a very cool car and according to fiat friends of mine it is serious fun.

Either the old Pocket-Rocket which packs a mighty 36 Horses (or in special track race version, 55 HP), or the new one which will have a 1.4 liter engine that packs 150 punches and will do 0-60 mph in about 8 seconds
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post #10 of 104 Old 01-10-2009, 08:49 AM
 
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SAAB 93 Aero

SAAB 9-5 2.0T BSR1, Volvo 855 GLE
Suzuki Marauder VZ800, Honda 480R
Honda NS 125 R2, Suzuki RM 80
Pocketbike, And some other toys.
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post #11 of 104 Old 01-10-2009, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
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I recommend the new Abarth 500. Jeremy Clarkson was very positive about it and it really is a very cool car and according to fiat friends of mine it is serious fun.

Either the old Pocket-Rocket which packs a mighty 36 Horses (or in special track race version, 55 HP), or the new one which will have a 1.4 liter engine that packs 150 punches and will do 0-60 mph in about 8 seconds
+1. The new Fiat 500 Abarth is a very cool car.
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post #12 of 104 Old 01-10-2009, 09:41 AM
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I would of said New Alfa Spider but still a little pricey yet. Archie I do have some small reservations about VAG cars but am warming to my VW slowly, but I do like the A4 and it is the best looking convertible saloon there is today.

Though I appreciate you wanting a change. The Saab convertible Aero comes a close second.
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post #13 of 104 Old 01-10-2009, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Well I've decided, and paid my deposit so it's too late to change my mind. In the end I bought a Dec 2006 Saab 9-3 Vector Cabriolet, 1.9 Turbo Diesel, metallic black with a cream leather interior, plus plenty of extras and 20K miles on the clock. It's not as good looking as the Audi A4, but I really wanted a change from Audi and it was about 4K cheaper than an equivalently spec'd Audi. I hope that I don't regret it.
Should hopefully pick it up next weekend, the dealers pics are attached.

I couldn't resist buying the Saab, after Pete said his ex-wife's lawyer had one. Shall I drive it to Singapore when we meet up in September
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post #14 of 104 Old 01-10-2009, 01:49 PM
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Looks Cool Archie!

Not a fan of Saabs personally, but can understand why people buy them. The 1.9 Tdi is a sound choice IMHO.

I would have picked the Audi TDi, but then I am a Cool, Outgoing, Charismatic Kid at heart


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post #15 of 104 Old 01-10-2009, 02:33 PM
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Nice car Arch. Hope it serves you well.


Just to continue the discussion...Would a VW EOS have been an option? Audi type reliability, differant interior design, love the convertable hard top concept. Seems like a maybe.

Lane

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post #16 of 104 Old 01-10-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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Very nice Archie! Congratulations!

Chris

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.-Anatole France
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post #17 of 104 Old 01-10-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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Good choice Archie. I love Saab, always have. Their styling is quirky but cool. The new Saabs have that great looking nose.
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post #18 of 104 Old 01-10-2009, 05:46 PM
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I couldn't resist buying the Saab, after Pete said his ex-wife's lawyer had one. Shall I drive it to Singapore when we meet up in September
So you're not taking the bicycle through Afganistan? I can't wait to take the keys out of my pocket and run a huge scratch down the length of your car. I'll be picturing my wife's lawyer's face as I do it. Thanks Arch! You're a true friend.

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post #19 of 104 Old 01-11-2009, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Agree with your positive and negative comments about VAG cars. The truth is, I would have probably bought an Audi if the financial climate were different, but the Saab made sense for financial reasons. In the past I have always bought cars because I fell in love with them, practical and financial reasons weren't really a consideration. The world is a different place now and I have bought with my head not my heart. I can't say that I love the Saab's styling, the front is OK, but the back is ugly and the interior dash layout is unusual to say the least. However 44 MPG, heated leather seats, parking sensors, generally better spec than Audi, 20K on the clock and at least 4K less (probably even more) cheaper than an Audi is what swung it. Plus I don't have to live with the TG label of being a cock.

I believe the engine is a Fiat diesel, not a GM unit? So maybe it is a distant relative to a Ferrari.

Pete, I look forward to you vandalising it, but by the time I've driven to Singapore via your suggested route of middle eastern and asian trouble spots I don't think there will be much of it left to vandalise. Perhaps we could use it as a project to customise and relaunch R.A.P.E in Asia. Give it a few weeks and everyone in SE Asia will want one just like it, we could become millionaires

Archie
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post #20 of 104 Old 01-11-2009, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by archiegibbs View Post
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Merc CLK 200K - A bit footballers wives and looks a bit puny with 17 inch wheels.
"Hey fool!" I have one of those
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